Farmer asks to truck in fill to former cranberry farm

A Richmond farmer wants to bring in fill to raise a former cranberry farm to transform it into a vegetable an ornamental tree farm.

The city has received a fill application for 5800 No. 7 Rd. to truck in 110,000 cubic metres of soil to raise nine hectares of the property by 1.3 metres.

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An agrologist hired by the property owner advised the land is limited in what it can be used for because of the wetness of the soil, an “undesirable soil structure” and high acidity and poor nutrition limiting its fertility.

The plan is to use Richmond soil when sourcing the fill.

Tipping fees are paid to landowners who accept fill, and this project has the potential to bring in $1.3 million, according to the staff report. However, it’s noted that the costs for requirements like reporting, site preparation and project management will cost the property owner $940,000.

In 2014, the owner asked to subdivide the property into two lots, but later cancelled the application. There was also an application for non-farm use but this was denied.

The farm has been in the Mahal family since 1949.

The application is on the agenda for council’s committee meeting on Monday.

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